Data-Empowered Journaling
An easy way to get into the habit of journaling, while giving you the flexibility to track and analyze the things you care about.
Spencer Chang
I recently (in May 2019) decided to make journaling part of my daily routine. I've always reflected off and on, but it was infrequent and highly mood-based. There’s countless research showing how
regularly provides tons of
(this one’s a bit click-baity and goes overboard on the self-help vibe but has good info as well). After about a year of sticking with my habit, I have personally experienced the effects of these.

see the fruits of my

In the past 5 years, I’ve tried a variety of apps and tools to start up a journaling habit, but all of them either a) had a lot of other bloat that I didn’t need, b) didn’t have certain features I wanted to be incorporated into journaling, or c) didn’t give me enough flexibility to customize what kinds of data I wanted to track.

I created this Coda doc to help me build my journaling habit the way I wanted and track the data points that I felt were relevant. I’ve been loving this approach so far for these four reasons:
: you can fill out as much or as little as you want.
: Coda connects with my calendar and the weather to pull in relevant data to orient my mind to what I did when I go to reflect each day.
: unlike pre-made apps, I can choose what data points I want to track and the kinds of analyses I want to project to inform my decisions.
: I can organize all my thoughts in one place, including long-form reflections with the built-in folder and section organization, and keep track of important reflections and life trends.

Once you've gathered some data, you can even publish it into its own doc to have a fun monitor that is live updated with cross-doc (
). Happy to help create something like that if you're interested!

Have fun journaling 😄


1️⃣ Go to
to setup your information.

2️⃣ Go to
each day to fill out your journal entry.


3️⃣ Go to
to review your collected data every once in a while.

4️⃣ Go to
to look back at some random diary entries or the ones that you've flagged.

5️⃣ Go to
to copy a template to do a long-form reflection whenever you feel like you have a lot to get out of your head or off your chest.

6️⃣ Go to
to customize the data points you want to gather.